Becky Tooley 2It’s summer—time for vacations, barbecues and the beach. I hope you enjoy these activities with family and friends, but I also hope you stay safe and take precautions: Take frequent water breaks, wear appropriate clothing to prevent sunburns, apply sunscreen, and, please, never leave kids or pets unattended in a vehicle.

Growing up in Newark, Ohio, I did not have a beach close by, so I enjoyed going to the city pool every day with my mom, brothers, sister and neighbors. There were always plenty of friends to play with, and we all had a fun time.

Here in Florida, many of us have access to a pool and enjoy swimming in the ocean. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that strengthens muscles and helps manage weight. I try to swim five times a week, and even if I don’t swim, my dog Buckie jumps in the pool every chance he gets.

We don’t get to the beach too often, but I enjoy watching the beautiful waves. But they are much more powerful than you think; so you should never put your back to them. Also, watch for rip currents. If you see a current of choppy, off-color water extending from the shore, do not enter the water. But if you do get pulled out, stay calm, save your energy and let the current carry you for a little while. Do not try to swim against the current. Instead, gain your composure and start swimming horizontally to the shore until you’re out of the current. And, remember, try not to swallow the water. You may be drinking all kinds of bacteria.

Because more people are out and about during this season, this may be a good time to take a CPR class in the event you find someone in distress. Our fire marshal’s staff offers free classes on the first Wednesday of each month. Classes include infant, child and adult CPR as well as automated external defibrillator training. Register at

If you haven’t done so, please sign up for CocoAlert to receive emergency notifications. This system enables us to provide you with critical information quickly in situations such as severe weather, unexpected road closures and boil-water alerts. Sign up at You can receive time-sensitive messages at your home, mobile or business telephones, email address or via text message.

If you plan to travel, please call the police department’s Vacation Watch program at 954.973.6785 or register at Police officers will check your home twice a day during the time you are away. I use it often.

Remember to keep posted on all city events and initiatives on the city’s website and social media pages.

Enjoy your summer, Creek!